Global Warming Facts and What to DoGlobal Warming Facts and What to Do

Scientific investigations over many decades point to human activity as the primary cause of global warming. Understanding how we are polluting our environment leads to a mutual desire to cease or lessen the polluting activities that are weakening the Earth's inclination to support our civilization. Be sure to view the graphic images in the videos about coal mining and tar sands oil extraction in Alberta.

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I have lived here before
In days of ice.
And I came back to find
The stars displaced,
And the smell of a world
That is burned.
Yeah, well, maybe it's just a change of climate....

by Jimi Hendrix from the song "Up From The Skies"

Human Causes of Global Warming

Human activity has triggered global warming. The principle harmful actions are the burning of fossil fuels (coal and petroleum) for energy and deforestation. Burning fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide (CO2) along with many other toxic substances. In addition to the harmful effects of fossil fuel pollution, the CO2 is warming the Earth because it is an insulating agent in the atmosphere and traps heat against the Earth. CO2 in the atmosphere has always had this effect and, in a normal amount, this “greenhouse effect” is beneficial because it protects the Earth from the deep freeze of space.

The staggering overuse and abuse of fossil fuels has caused an enormous and growing release of CO2 far beyond the processing capability of the Earth’s vegetation. Plants take in CO2 and release oxygen (O2) and this holy system has functioned for eons to keep the CO2 level stable.

The voracious consumption of fossil fuels has thrown the natural system out of all reckoning. Plants cannot manage the excess CO2 and the gas is building up in the atmosphere and further warming the Earth. Deforestation exacerbates this problem by destroying CO2-consuming O2-producing biosystems, leaving the Earth hotter and barren.

Prior to the beginning of the industrial age, roughly 150 years ago, the CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 400,000 years ranged from 180 to 280 parts per million. Right now the Earth’s atmosphere has 370 parts per million of CO2 and it rises every year. (1) The rise in CO2 corresponds directly to the rising human use of fossil fuels. This is not a coincidence. It is not acceptable, and it is not all right.

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(1)“Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction” Terry Tamminen, Island Press, 2006, p. 86.

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